In 2021, Fife-based Lowlands unit Kingsbarns released its second Distillery Reserve. Like the distillery’s signature release Dream to Dram, the bottling in question is composed from 1st-fill ex-Bourbon casks and STR red wine casks (with the foregoing acronym standing for “Shaved, Toasted, Re-charred”). In this case, the ratio of the differing wood types is 60 per cent ex-Bourbon and 40 per cent STR. And the ABV clocks in at a an impressive 61.8 per cent. When I first tried Kingsbarns Distillery Reserve ’21 at the Vibrant Stills booth at Kiel Whisky Fair, it won me over in an instant! The wonderful nose was immediately followed by a fruity taste and creamy mouthfeel. And in the end, the dram climaxed in an incredible finish! I enjoyed it so much that I got myself a full bottle and an extra sample before I had even emptied my glass. Recently, the latter allowed me to calmly revisit the drop at home. And what can I say: The second time around, I loved this limited edition bottling just as much as I did the first time! My tasting notes below will tell you why …
Eye: Sunset golden.
Nose: An absolute pleasure right from the beginning! Crumbly toffee, spiced cookies, and powdered sugar enter the nostrils first. Then follow dried apricots and chewy raisins alongside vinous wood and all sorts of aromatic spices. Brittle, cocoa, and strawberry join the mix, too, making the whole thing even more delicate!
Palate: Sweet, juicy, and powerful – at this stage we get to feel the raised ABV in a good, invigorating way. It transports rich flavors of plum jam, blackberry compote, cherry juice, and strawberry sorbet. These fruity notes are fortified by caramel pudding and hazelnut splinters. Moreover, a dollop of whipped cream gives the liquid a significant weight, whereas a handful of unsweetened licorice provides a darkened undertone.
Finish: The expressive aftertaste is copious with coconut, vanilla, grape, and canned peach drenched in choc sauce – all of which echo long, strong, and good!
Type: Single Malt Scotch Whisky
Region: Scotland (Lowlands)
Alc. volume: 61.8 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Price range: ~80.00 Euro
More info: https://www.kingsbarnsdistillery.com/ (Distillery) ; https://www.albaimport.de/ (Distributor)